Friday, December 30, 2011

Daruma delights

From Debbie, an amusing card, two Daruma dolls posing as Santa's elves, understandably grumpy (who wouldn't be grumpy with their workload?). Clearly they have done their job well as they have both their eyes!

Thanks Debbie, a winner as usual.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Frosty the snowman

This cute guy came to cool down our Christmas weather with a little frosty cheer. The grandkids love him Mayumi. Happy Christmas to you and your family.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Woof Woof!

That cheeky little rascal Tororo has sent me a Christmas card, Of course his mum Fumiko made the card but he has signed it with a genuine paw print on the reverse, clever  Tororo, I hope Santa Claus brings you a nice big bone to chew.

Thank you Tororo (and Fumiko).

Friday, December 9, 2011

A whole lot of goodness,gracious me!

Yes I am happy when a trip to the mailbox yields such happy results.
First cab off the rank is this delightful, very typical Shungo effort. A painting of a persimmon, my very favourite fruit in the universe!

Another delightful surprise was this sweet painting of berries and it's accompanying envelope from a new correspondent Corinne from La Belle France.

They look like a kind of acorn but Google translate is not much help, she doesn't know what an aubepine is.
 A lovely Christmas card from Fumiko using cut paper techniques and showing a shimmery snowy night sky using gold and silver paint.

Slowly bringing up the rear is one of Debbie's creatures, a very wise old snail trailing across some interesting textured washi, I can always rely on her for a droll creature but the words are inspiring, let us hope we can all follow this excellent example in the new year.

Thank you so much Shungo,Corinne,Fumiko and Debbie.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

"The sweetness at the bottom of the pie"......

Just happens to be the title of a book I have lately read on the recommendation of Debbie (DosankoDebbie), It is one of those books like the  Harry Potter series, ostensibly written for a young audience  but appealing to all ages. A little bit like a junior Miss Marples. Anyway, I digress...I was reminded of the story when I received this yummy etegami from Fumiko showing a sweet potato pie she baked (and ate). Highlights of gold and silver give it that added sparkle.

 Thank you Fumiko (and Tororo her cuty-pie dog who stamped it with his paw).

Friday, November 11, 2011

The camellia man.....

Shungo, the man who loves camellias and who draws, prints and paints them so well has sent me this beauty.  It is a hand coloured print from a woodblock I think, very strong and beautiful.

No words on this but a lot of 'personality'. Thanks Shungo.


Mayumi has been doing a whole series of mushrooms lately and has sent me one. That is very appropriate as I don't read Japanese, I am like a mushroom completely in the dark about the meaning of the card but I do enjoy the softness and subtle colour of the painting.

Thank you Mayumi.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A masterful mash.

Shungo sent one of his quickly executed masterpieces, the colours are wonderful and are redolent of Autumn. The writing on the back is a belated birthday wish. The subject is an overripe bitter melon or gourd which has the brightly coloured seeds spilling out, having had another birthday I feel a bit squashed like the gourd but not so colourful!

From Hokkaido with love.

What a thrill to receive this 'unbearably' apropos card from Debbie in Hokkaido while I was in hospital!
It summed up the situation nicely. Thanks Debbie.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Floating away

The latest card is from Fumiko featuring her sweet darling dog Tororo.
On the back she has written in English "Please get along with Mom from Tororo"
Has Tororo been a naughty boy?

The funny thing is I have just done an etegami to send to my granddaughter featuring balloons in almost the same configuration, I was probably unconsciously thinking of it (having seen it on Facebook) when I did mine and lo  and behold I received her card the next day.
Thank you Fumiko.

Monday, August 29, 2011


We now come to the thorny question...what qualifies as an etegami?
For the purists it is a drawing (of something you can basically see in front of you) dashed off using sumi ink and gansai paints on an absorbent card, throw into the mix a pithy verse or comment and a red seal and BINGO! an etegami.
Well folks gather 'round and I will whisper a little secret, boundaries are being stretched, boxes are being thought outside of and etegami are exploding in all directions. For instance, my friend Fumiko does delicate papercuts pasted to the postcard, Shungo is fond of carving stamps (and making his own paper), Debbie uses collage and (I think) she and I use photographic references for our more exotic subjects .... the list goes on.
All this is a preamble to these delightful paintings of cats sent to me by Gay of Silvergum Studio  a talented illustrator and glass artist who lives in the far flung reaches of Tasmania.  She protests that they are not etegami but "will they do?"

Now I must admit that a nice red seal would set them off a treat but they are the best darned 'not'egami I have ever seen!
These felines have the most expressive faces. Thanks Gay.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hot, hot,hot!

I think that is the message that Mayumi is sending me with this exquisite etegami. The summer in Japan is always hot and humid but this year seems to be particularly hot.
I love the combination of painting and stamping on the fan and the blue colour is so cooling. Thanks Mayumi, I always look forward to your cards.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The artichoke has landed.

Shungo and I have a bit of a 'thing' going on with artichokes...he showed me his and I sent him one in reply.
Here is his fantastic dynamic drawing of an artichoke flower, sadly past it's eating prime but very decorative nonetheless.

Also another Double Delight from DosankoDebbie, what did I do to deserve such goodness?
The droll mosquito etegami reminds me that although we are mosquito-less at the moment, it is not only good things that happen in summer but I still love it.

I particularly like the little spot of blood where she has penetrated the skin......ouch!

This card of a whale breaching illustrates a poem by John Masefield and is eerily apropos at the moment as we are able to see the Southern Right whales making their way up the coast to their birthing grounds in the warmer northern waters. Are you prescient Debbie?
Now a whale may conjure up a different thought to a Japanese person...but we won't go there!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Japan is struggling through another hot humid summer. I visited Kyushu 6 years ago and I could not believe how hot and humid it was. It is a pity I did not know then that  Fumiko lives on Kyushu or I could have visited her there! Never mind, she is a very good correspondent and given the problems with language we manage to comunicate quite well.
This latest card from her using the Kirie or papercut technique conveys the idea of 'coolness' (the weather that is but it is pretty cool anyway).
The character she has cut  reminds me of the stone lanterns I saw in Japan, happy memories.
Thanks Fumiko.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Two cards from Fumiko!

I was happy to receive this card from Fumiko yesterday, I think what it says is "What is the red color? It is the color of your kindness". What a lovely message.

It is done in her signature papercut style, and today I opened my mailbox to find this card


and its delightful accompanying envelope with a swirl of watercolour and stamped goldfish. (I wonder if she knew that my other hobby is keeping goldfish?  I have two large ponds with about 200 fish.)
The second card is painted on handmade paper (made by Fumiko) and brings me happy memories of the flowers in my grandmother's garden. Batchelor's Buttons were one of the things she grew every year. The words mean "It doesn't matter if it is small, having one is important. DREAM!!

Thank you to my Daughter in law Tomomi for the translation (via email)

Monday, July 4, 2011

'Senior" sends a card.

A wonderful drawing of hydrangea flowers, seemingly dashed off with all of the energy that characterizes Shungo's work, the cat stamp on the back is a bonus! Shungo is well known for his stamp carving and my own name seals or hanko were made by him as a gift to a newcomer.

Monday, June 20, 2011


I'm happy that I can start this blog with a card from my 'oldest' correspondent and sensei Debbie.
The mixed media card illustrates a poem by Misuzu Kaneko (1903-1930),

A Huge Haul
By the glow of sunrise,
the fishing boats brought in a huge haul.
Of sardines they had a huge haul.
On shore, the village celebrates with a festival.
In the sea, the sardines hold a funeral for tens of thousands of their mates.

The second card is from one of my newest friends, Mayumi Miyagawa who has sent me this wonderfully luscious strawberry . I can only imagine that this is a celebration of summer, perhaps Mayumi could comment and give us a translation?